I attended a conference held by an IT vendor the other day who were shilling their latest Cloud computing offering. The conference was attended by a bunch of directors from IT Service companies similar to Torix, who are this IT vendor’s ‘partners’ – people who go out and sell services on the IT vendors behalf.
At one point during the day the vendor held an open forum on the challenges we IT service companies face when trying to sell cloud to our own customers. Things got interesting when the vendor’s sales director asked what the feedback was when us IT service companies presented cloud offerings to our customers.
‘They hate it’
Came the blunt reply from the front of the room. All eyes focused on the owner of the response; a gruff man in his 50′s who seemed to define passive aggressive. The director at the vendor was understandably surprised at the direct nature of the response to the question, shuffled his feet in awkwardness and meekly asked for an expansion –
‘They are fed up with it, the term, cloud. They don’t want to know. They switch off.’
The man was angry. I got the impression by the deep contours in his brow that this was his default setting, but nonetheless. I guessed the reason for his ire was that the vendor had promised him that if his company started to sell their cloud services the streets would be paved with gold, and things hadn’t turned out that way …
As the interaction petered out into politeness, I got to thinking. I reckon he might be onto something there. For a few years now, cloud has been the talk of the IT industry. Us IT bods talk all the time on how cloud can transform your business and make out like it can change your organisation into an IT utopia.
I don’t know if it’s down to our cynical British nature, but I don’t think many people are buying these lines. I think we in the IT industry are overselling cloud; it’s not the cure to all ills we present it to be.
Don’t get me wrong. We at Torix believe that cloud is a big part of the future of IT. I’m not about to do an about face and never mention cloud to a client again. It’s just I think we in the IT industry need to have a think about how we present it to our customers.
Because cloud can deliver real and tangible benefits to business, over and above a lot of technologies out there, its a shame that due to the marketing hype the IT industry talks, businesses are switching off.
In general terms cloud offers better flexibility, lets businesses rent rather than purchase IT, allows then more mobility and allows for upgrades on things like disaster recovery.
These benefits suit some businesses more than others. For businesses looking to adopt cloud, its about looking to see if these benefits fit a business, not trying to create a need for something because its the new big thing.